MLB Opening Day is here, and baseball fans across the country can finally exhale. After months in jeopardy thanks to the MLB lockout, no one could say for sure if the season was actually going to take place.
The lockout began on Dec. 2 and ran for 99 days. It was one of the longest work stoppages in MLB history.
Indiana doesn’t have a professional team of its own, but plenty of Hoosiers around the state still love America’s pastime.
Since baseball dominates Indiana sports betting during the summer months, the end of the MLB lockout likely saved the state’s market millions of dollars.
MLB Opening Day, end of lockout save summer betting
MLB betting gets its time in the limelight in between the basketball and football calendars.
Hoosiers love betting on baseball, and that love was on full display during the 2021 season.
The 2021 MLB season ran from April until early November. During that time, gamblers wagered over $376 million on the sport.
That undoubtedly led to millions of dollars worth of sports betting revenue for gambling companies, plus tax money that went directly to the state of Indiana.
Business was booming over the summer, but it’s hard to get exact numbers for how much money baseball betting generated. The Indiana Gaming Commission’s monthly reports don’t offer enough revenue data for specific sports.
Despite that, we can still put together a decent estimate if we stitch some numbers together.
Hold percentage is the amount of revenue that sportsbooks collect from the overall number of wagers. The average sportsbook hold for a typical month in Indiana is about 7.8%.
If you apply that to the $376 million Hoosiers bet during the 2021 MLB season, it works out to about $29.3 million in revenue.
Indiana taxes sportsbook revenue at 9.5%. In other words, if the reality of baseball season matched the average numbers, then Indiana made a little under $2.8 million in taxes from last year’s baseball season.
That’s a combined $32 million worth of revenue and taxes that Indiana’s market would’ve missed out on this year if the MLB lockout hadn’t ended.
It’s a victory for the gambling market and fans alike. Everyone wins with the return of baseball to the sports betting lineup.
No more Indiana sports betting records until fall
Hoosiers will be jumping at the chance to bet on baseball this year. However, the sport’s popularity only goes so far.
Indiana gamblers will bet hundreds of millions of dollars on baseball this summer, but that still pales in comparison to the popularity of basketball and football betting.
Basketball bettors wagered nearly $400 million on the sport during just January and February this year. So in just two months, basketball’s numbers eclipsed baseball’s eight-month total of $376 million from the entire 2021 MLB season.
Because of that, Indiana’s sports betting market won’t have enough momentum to set records over the next few months. January 2022’s record-breaking $500 million in wagers will be impossible to beat.
That will change once football returns in the fall, but at least for now, sportsbooks and the gamblers using them will be happy to have baseball back in the action.